Nov 6, 2013, 11:10 AM
In the world of competiveness, opponents are always aware of what they say against one another. We may take the example of the US general elections campaigns. They may therefore take consolation and comfort in these words uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ to John and the rest of his disciples.
In the proper context of the Bible, it was John the Apostle who raised an issue with Jesus. He said to him, “Master we saw a man driving out demons in your name, and we told him to stop, because he doesn’t belong to our group”. In his answer Jesus offered the admonition, “Do not try to stop him, because whoever is not against you is for you.” The answer given was suitable because Jesus did not have a competitive mind. His purpose of coming into the world was to transform it and bring salvation to all humankind. Jesus in his life and ministry demonstrated this as he came not for the virtuous but sinners (LK 15:7).
Jesus wanted his disciples to follow his footsteps and his mindset. In the same chapter and in these particular verses, LK 9:46-48, Jesus taught his disciples to think least of themselves. The reason for this was that the disciples were arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest among them. He again gave them the rightful answer to say, “the who is least among you is the greatest”,
The world of the disciples them is not the same as the world of today. In today’s world there is sophistication, competition, fast movements of life by way of progress and development. As such, the world of today demands competition and competition brings about opposition, opponents and rivalry.
One question we may ask ourselves is, do the words of Jesus in the context of LK 9:50 relate to us today? Are they of much relevance in our situation today? Deep down in my reflection the words are of great relevance. They enable us build up self trust and trust in others which is fundamental in life. If you realize that he who is not against you is for you therefore you live to trust others and in trusting them trust yourself.
This reference, “whoever is not against you is for you” (LK 9:50) have been used as the scriptural basis for the great inter-religious dialogue movement of our times. The scripture is well accepted by Christian and Muslims counterparts of the movement. They all in their aspirations live to work and promote dialogue by trusting one another. Dialogue is their modus operandi. This dialogue is propagated through work, life, study and prayer.
In our blessed homeland of The Gambia dialogue between Christians and Muslims is very well fostered and safe guarded because of the environment we live in. the words of Jesus in the concerned text should be cherished today and always. The world that we live in needs acceptance, tolerance and trust between religions.